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  1. #1
    Registered User ccavayero40's Avatar
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    Smith Machine Front Squats

    I'm unable to back squat because of a back injury however, front squats cause minimal discomfort even when going heavy. Has anyone consistently used the smith machine for front squats before? I'm thinking it would be easier on my back.
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  2. #2
    The BACKMAN DJAuto's Avatar
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    The mechanics of the movement are rather skewed, thus most experts do not suggest using the Smith machine for squats.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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  3. #3
    Original Neanderthal theapexxxx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DJAuto View Post
    The mechanics of the movement are rather skewed, thus most experts do not suggest using the Smith machine for squats.
    Im not trying to argue with you, but alot of people say smith squats are bad for you, and yet there are so many people with quality wheels and strength to boot that do use it.

    And it does allow you to have a further forward foot placement hitting your legs differently.
    If you haven't tried a Million things, you haven't tried everything!

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  4. #4
    Registered User ccavayero40's Avatar
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    hmm

    Anything
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  5. #5
    Original Neanderthal theapexxxx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ccavayero40 View Post
    Anything
    Front squats are generally much easier on your back to begin with, I don't know why a smith machine would be any better.
    If you haven't tried a Million things, you haven't tried everything!

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  6. #6
    Registered User KristjanH's Avatar
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    I would not reccomend the Smith machine for squatting unless there was a medical reason too.
    If not, just lighten the load, focus on your form and do it with a barbell, imo.
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  7. #7
    Registered User ccavayero40's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KristjanH View Post
    I would not reccomend the Smith machine for squatting unless there was a medical reason too.
    If not, just lighten the load, focus on your form and do it with a barbell, imo.
    I would FRONT squat with a barbell, but once I get to 205, 215, 225, I start to feel pain in my back. My legs feel as though they could lift a great deal more, but with an injured back I rarely go heavier. I know that the Smith isn't a natural squat motion, but I just wanted to see if anyone had ever used it while injured as a substitute.

    Thanks for the replies
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  8. #8
    'Defiant to Injuries' Ironlife's Avatar
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    smith machine front squats

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  9. #9
    Registered User J_Bo's Avatar
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    I luh' me some smith machine front squats. There was about 3 months where that was the only type of squatting I did, and I got some good gains in the quad department.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Bender88's Avatar
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    For me smith was harder on my back i don't know why.
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  11. #11
    Gangsta of Coaching Austin109's Avatar
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    i love smith front squats.

    i have bad knees and this really helps me. take a little while to get the form perfect though.
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  12. #12
    Gotta get bigger spitfiredealer's Avatar
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    I do smith machine front squats most leg days. No problems.
    "Great and good are seldom the same man."
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  13. #13
    Registered User Forumite's Avatar
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    While using the smith isn't the best option for gains you do have a problem with your back and something is better than nothing and it's certainly better than hurting yourself.

    I say give it a try and if it works for you then all the better, you're body is the only opinion that is going to matter.
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  14. #14
    1st Dan Chito-Ryu tonester's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ccavayero40 View Post
    front squats cause minimal discomfort even when going heavy.
    So why would you want to get under something that has you going up and down on rails, taking out the stabilizers that your body depends on for proper mechanics. The last thing your back needs is to remove their involvement.

    If you know anything about the effects of imbalances in your lower body and it's affects on the lower back, you wouldn't want to be forcing leg growth without a healthy back.

    Work on improving your back not keeping it at status or making it worse.
    Last edited by tonester; 12-03-2009 at 04:07 AM.
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  15. #15
    I love lamp Bantropic's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by theapexxxx View Post
    Im not trying to argue with you, but alot of people say smith squats are bad for you, and yet there are so many people with quality wheels and strength to boot that do use it.

    And it does allow you to have a further forward foot placement hitting your legs differently.
    No one is negating the fact that using a Smith Machine for squats won't target your leg muscles well. The reality, however, is that using a Smith Machine is not only less functional (translating gym movements into real situations); it also fails to adequately improve core strength and stability. People with low back pain often shy away from exercises which ideally will improve their lower back strength; hence the viscous cycle of lower back pain continues, and their functional mobility decreases as a result.

    A smith machine can be good for those during rehabilitation. For anything else? I hate it.
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  16. #16
    I love lamp Bantropic's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tonester View Post
    The last thing your back needs is to remove their involvement.
    Spot on.
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  17. #17
    Registered User ccavayero40's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Originally Posted by Nicolas_Hart View Post
    No one is negating the fact that using a Smith Machine for squats won't target your leg muscles well. The reality, however, is that using a Smith Machine is not only less functional (translating gym movements into real situations); it also fails to adequately improve core strength and stability. People with low back pain often shy away from exercises which ideally will improve their lower back strength; hence the viscous cycle of lower back pain continues, and their functional mobility decreases as a result.

    A smith machine can be good for those during rehabilitation. For anything else? I hate it.
    Thanks,
    I do understand what you are saying about improving back strength and improving core strength, would you suggest I continue to front squat with the barbell, and just leave my ego aside and go with a lighter workout until my back strengthens?
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  18. #18
    I'll Mod Til I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ccavayero40 View Post
    Thanks,
    I do understand what you are saying about improving back strength and improving core strength, would you suggest I continue to front squat with the barbell, and just leave my ego aside and go with a lighter workout until my back strengthens?
    Do what you're physically able to do. Sure, Barbell Back Squats are a good overall leg builder, but they're useless to you if you're unable to perform them due to a medical condition.

    Front Squats on a Smith are an excellent exercise to target your quads, if that's your intention. Other exercises, such as Machine Hacks, can do the same thing.

    A big part of successful bodybuilding is being able to adapt your training to your specific needs, and find practices and exercises that will do what you want them to, regardless of whether or not they seem to conform to 'conventional' thinking.
    Last edited by ironwill2008; 12-03-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Do what you're physically able to do. Sure, Barbell Back Squats are a good overall leg builder, but they're useless to you if you're unable to perform them due to a medical condition.

    Front Squats on a Smith are an excellent exercise to target your quads, if that's your intention. Other exercises, such as Machine Hacks, can do the same thing.

    A big part of successful bodybuilding is being able to adapt your training to your specific needs, and find practices and exercises that will do what you want them to, regardless of whether or not they seem to conform to 'conventional' thinking.
    bump to this thread.

    when performing front squats on a smith, is it still essential to place your feet forward a bit like you would in a back squat on a smith?
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